Drawing to think

Is a doodle good for the noodle?

By stef

I attended a workshop event yesterday, and I’d brought along sharpies of multiple colours and some sheets of paper. I thought I’d need them to help me have conversations with the people who were going to be there.

What actually happened was that I started drawing. Monsters. I do this a lot.

It’s something I’ve been doing for a couple of years now, and at first I was a little concerned that it might come across as me being rude or distracted. 

The thing is, if I’m drawing while a conversation is going on around me, I find that I’m able to listen deeper to what people are saying, to be the “plant”, and then pipe up with interesting observations and thoughts.

Getting past that “oh I’m being very rude by drawing something instead of being serious” seems to help others around me to realise that you don’t have to obey the rules in the conversation, that perhaps a little levity is permitted!

It’s only yesterday that I realised that it’s quite unusual! So I thought I’d snatch a moment to make this observation and put it down in writing.

I’m drawing to think. The act of drawing and being playful in otherwise sensible situations might seem a bit risky and strange, but perhaps it’s something that I use in those situations to help me and others get the best out of a meeting.

If you do similar, do let me know. And if you don’t, could I suggest buying a pack of multi-colour sharpies and leaving them in the middle of the meeting room next time you gather the team together? It could be interesting…